"Oh, you've got to be kidding me."
"Do you have a better idea?" Joan asked Piper.
"Uh, where are we?" Chris was glad Patty asked the question because he felt like he had been asking questions like that too much lately and he was getting tired of it.
"Not important right now," Joan said. "We don't have time for explanations. Di! Ecce hora! Uxor mea me necabit!"
Four giant floating heads suddenly appeared around them. "Who has summoned the Tribunal and for what purpose?"
"Hey guys," Joan said with the fake smile people always have when they know the people they are talking to probably won't be happy to see them.
"Joan!" said another of the floating heads. "I thought you promised to stay out of trouble and stop bothering us."
"Well, technically this time it isn't me that is causing the trouble," she admitted in an attempt to placate them. "There's a…situation happening and I think you guys are the only ones who can stop it before everything spirals out of control."
Chris thought she was layering on the flattery a bit thick, but the floating heads seemed to be buying it so who was he to complain. "What is this situation?" asked a head that had yet to speak.
"The Elders have released one of their former brethren and that ex-Elder is now attempting to slaughter the children of a Charmed One."
"Ex-Elder? Are you kidding me?" Piper was rapidly losing control as she finally realized the full extent of the situation and Phoebe came over to try and calm her down. "Don't even, Phoebe," the older sister said with a hand up. "I think I have a right to rant about how a group of supposedly good beings have released a man who murdered my son!"
Whoa…what? Murdered her son? But…he didn't have any other brothers and there was no way they could have made him forget something like that. No amount of memory dust could wipe away every trace of a sibling. Could it? There was something else, something his father had said that day that he couldn't quite remember. He wish he had more time to think and put all the pieces together that he had found out about in such a short period of time, but he wasn't going to get that time right now.
"Piper, you have every right to rant," Joan agreed, "just not right now, okay?" Piper opened her mouth, then looked at her children and thought better of it and shut it again. Joan inwardly gave a sigh of relief. They really didn't have time for Piper to blow her top. Turning back to the four giant floating heads, she addressed them again. "So, guys, can you help us out by bringing everyone here and hashing all this out?"
The four glanced at each other and seemed to come to a consensus. "Sure, why not?" said one of them. Instantly Leo, Wyatt, and Psycho appeared in front of them.
"Where's-" Before Chris could even finish the question in orbed, "Michael." Dude, he thought, not even this tribunal can summon Michael? Impressive.
Leo threw up a hand to strike his quarry with a lightning bolt, but nothing happened. Chris figured the tribunal area, wherever it was, was protected against magic being used unless allowed in order to conduct business in an orderly fashion. Undeterred, Leo went for the other man with arms outstretched obviously intent on strangling him. "You BASTARD!"
One of the giant heads nodded slightly and suddenly Leo was frozen as if Piper had used her powers. But now it was Piper that had to be held back from attacking Psycho by Phoebe and Paige. "You slimy, traitorous, lying-" It became a bit chaotic as the sisters tried to calm Piper and the twins started understandably freaking out at the state of their parents and Joan tried to yell over everyone and calm the situation.
"ENOUGH!" bellowed Michael. This time he didn't need to make everyone else incapable of speech, they were all stunned enough by his voice alone to fall quiet. Even the giant floating heads seemed to be paying strict attention to whatever Michael was about to say. He looked up to the tribunal. "I am assuming Joan summoned the four of you to work out this situation?" The heads solemnly nodded. "All right. As always, I will not interfere with this tribunal's workings unless needed." He waved a hand in Leo's direction and Leo was orbed out and then into a seat that appeared behind a table. "Leo can now speak and move his head, but nothing more for the time being and I expect him to act calmly or I will take that away as well, is that understood?"
Leo wasn't happy with that idea, but nevertheless he agreed with a grudging nod. "Good, now everyone else sit in that general area," Michael continued, gesturing to the other chairs. "Except you," he said, pointing at Psycho. "You breathe wrong and I will send you somewhere that there will be no coming back from," the angel said in a voice that was scarier than his yelling had been. Chris could tell that while Psycho didn't want to admit that Michael intimidated him, he was pretty pale at this point.
Michael looked up at the four heads above him. "Now, I think this tribunal can begin."